Recap of the Henry / Batista feud so far takes us into the SmackDown intro. Tonight we’ve got a Contract Signing for Batista vs Mark Henry at the Great American Bash, and Bobby Lashley defends his United States Championship against Fit Finlay! Diva Boot Camp!
King Booker, Queen Sharmell, and William Regal are already in the ring with their royal pimping for King Booker. Regal cuts a fantastic promo and it’s one of the few times where Melodrama is the best option. King Booker announces that while Batista and Henry were fighting last week, when Mysterio returned backstage hurt King Booker attacked him from behind. Always great to see “off screen” moments. Divine Intervention makes it’s illustrious return to SmackDown, however not in a Guerrero reference. Mysterio attacks Booker from behind and takes Regal down too before he makes his exit. Great way to open SmackDown.
Still to come: Matt Hardy vs Mister Kennedy.
Opening Contest: Matt Hardy vs Mister Kennedy
Hardy attacks Kennedy during the microphone stuff and takes it to Kennedy with some punches, a pair of elbows for a two count. Hardy gets a back drop of Kennedy for another two count. Kennedy gets a shoulder to the gut of Hardy and tries to mount the turnbuckle but is stopped by Hardy, Kennedy sends Hardy’s arm into the ropes before he sends Hardy shoulder first into the steel pole. Kennedy works the arm and gets a shoulder block off the ropes for a two count. Hardy gets some offence in before Kennedy gets a high kick to the sore arm of Hardy before he hits an arm drag for a two count. Kennedy with a snapmare before he gets in a hammerlock on Hardy, Hardy looks to escape before Kennedy sends him into the mat. Kennedy falls groin first on the top turnbuckle before Hardy gets in a superplex. The two exchange punches and Kennedy gets the better with a knee, but gets sent into the corner for a clothesline bulldog combo by Hardy.
Side Effect by Hardy for the two count. Elbow to the head of Kennedy from the second turnbuckle, and Hardy goes for the Twist of Fate but Kennedy gets a neckbreaker for a two count! Kennedy sets Hardy up for the Twist Of Fate, but Hardy pushes Kennedy off and into the turnbuckle! Hardy gets in the ten count followed by a failed Twist Of Fate – Kennedy holds onto the ropes! Kennedy gets a two count off of it, with Hardy getting his foot on the bottom rope. Kennedy drags Hardy into the middle of the ring only to get put in a small package by Hardy for the three count!
Winner: Matt Hardy
A pretty fun way to continue SmackDown. Eight out of Ten. I’m happy tonight, even given the crappy context of my day. Post match Cole has the time of his life repeating “Kennedy! Kennedy! Kennedy!”. For those playing the home game, this is Kennedy’s first pinfall defeat.
Still to come: Lashley defends against Finlay, and Mysterio takes on Regal!
RAW Rebound recaps Cena / Edge.
Backstage Kristal and Michelle McCool bad mouth the new diva search girls, and Ashley Massaro. Massaro over hears, with Hall in tow, and a catfight ensues .. I don’t get it, who’s supposed to be the bad chicks there? Either way it might lead to an interesting match up at Great American Bash.
Khali and Daivari come out and hype up Khali’s match against Undertaker at Great American Bash, the first Punjabi Prison match and probably the last. They challenge the Undertaker to show himself .. the bells gong and Taker appears in the ring. JBL sells it like it’s never happened before. Taker raises his arms and thunder almost strikes Khali and Daivari. Daivari falls down but Khali remains standing. Daivari takes Khali backstage while Taker celebrates. I must admit, secretly, Khali’s not as annoying as he was when he first started.
Second Contest: Paul London with Brian Kendrick vs Jamie Noble with Kid Kash
These to teams will meet at The Great American Bash. Yay! The two briefly circle before Kash distracts London, allowing Noble to attack from behind. Noble gets in a few elbows before he takes London to the corner for some chops. London gets a sunset flip but Noble quickly kicks out. Noble rakes London’s eyes against the rope before he nails a scoop slam and quick leg drop for a two count. Noble gets in a sleeper hold, London fan favorites out of it with some elbows but runs right into a high leg drop by Noble for a two count, close to three. Knee to the head of London before Noble locks in a body scissors and weak sleeper hold, Noble gets in a few hooks before he begins to drive London’s head into the canvas. London lifts Noble up and sends him back first into the corner, but Noble clubs London back down.
Noble sends London chest first into the turnbuckle and London stumbles back into a german suplex from Noble, but lands on his feet! Flapjack by London! London with a clothesline and a few high kicks, off the ropes and ducks under Noble and an overhead belly to belly! Called a “throw” by Michael Cole. London gets a run up on Noble but Noble sends him to the apron, London off the top rope with a missile dropkick to the back of Noble! One, two, no! London goes for a powerbomb, but Noble lands on his feet and jumps on London in a body clamp but London sends him into the corner. London off the ropes into a picture perfect snap powerslam by Noble for a two count. Noble goes to get the chain, Kendrick grabs the chain but gets attacked by Kash, and the referee takes the chain away from Noble while Kash drops London throat first onto the top rope – Double Knee Gutbuster! One! Two! Three!
Winner: Jamie Noble
Eight out of Ten. I so can’t wait for their match at Great American Bash. Let’s not forget though, I tend to add more points to Kendrick / London matches.
Mike Mizanin is backstage and over reacts in introducing the Diva Search girls, which takes us too ..
Sylvan. He talks about Quebec. I’m all for countries and all, but outside of the Great American Bash opening match, and a “you can’t verbally bash Quebec” storyline, this gimmick doesn’t have much life to it.
Contract Signing between Mark Henry and Batista. Long story cut short is that Theodore Long announces that the winner will face the World Heavy Weight Champion at SummerSlam. Not at all a good segment .. though they do screw up a table spot, when Batista was supposed to destroy the table. I suppose he was at least.
Up next: Bobby Lashley defends the United States Championship against Fit Finlay!
Third Contest: United States Championship: Finlay vs Bobby Lashley (Champion)
In a nice touch: the referee makes sure that Finlay puts down the shaleleigh. Lock up and Lashley forces Finlay into the corner, the referee tells him to get off of Finlay and Finlay pushes him back with a choke. Finlay goes behind on Lashley and gets a shoulder claw before locking in a sleeper hold. Uppercut by Finlay before he takes it to Lashley in the corner. Back in the middle of the ring Lashley gets his delayed vertical suplex in on Finlay, who rolls outside and we head to a commercial.
We’re back with Finlay nailing Lashley with a short arm clothesline for a two before he sends Lashley shoulder first into the steel pole, followed by another short arm clothesline for another to. Finlay gets a few hooks to Lashley before a “USA” chant starts up. Lashley gets some punches in but gets quickly taken down with a drop toe hold, and Finlay applies a crossface. Referee: “Lashley, what do you want to do?!” Finlay: “He wants to give up – THAT’S what he wants to do!”. Lashley takes Finlay into the corner, but gets taken back down thanks to a big boot by Finlay. Finlay of the top rope into a raised leg by Lashley. Lashley with elbows to Finlay, clotheslines followed by an overhead! Lashley gets a running spear on Finlay and goes to capitalize, but Finlay rolls outside and begins to throw chairs into the ring!
Finlay grabs the shaleleigh but runs right into a boot by Lashley. Lashley sends Finlay off the ropes into a shoulder body toss and Lashley grabs the shaleleigh .. and throws it to the entrance! Lashley with elbows, Finlay gets a kick to Lashley before he is sent outside by Lashley. Finlay goes to use the chair but misses and hits the steel stairs. Lashley grabs a steel chair and goes back into the ring, but the Little Bastard appears while the referee is taking the chair off of Lashley! The little bastard sends Finlay a shaleleigh and Finlay slams it over the head of Lashley! One! Two! Three!
Winner And NEW Champion: Finlay
Didn’t drag. Didn’t bore. And wasn’t too shabby in terms of intensity. Another good match tonight. Seven out of Ten.
The Diva Search girls make their way out …
Diva Boot Camp. Winner gains immunity from this week’s elimination. Mizanin introduces Sgt. Slaughter and the girls cheer, though not a single one thinks to turn around and see him or anything. Layla L wins with her speed being 37 seconds. At least have these girls get punked out by the other divas or something, something that makes the winner look strong at least.
William Regal, King Booker, Queen Sharmell, and Rey Mysterio all make their entrances for the main event …
Main Event: William Regal with King Booker and Queen Sharmell vs Rey Mysterio
Regal has Mysterio in a sleeper hold but Mysterio escapes with elbows and goes off the ropes with a spinning headscissors takedown, but Regal simply slams him onto the canvas. Kick to the chest gets Regal one two count and two one counts. Regal with punches to the chest of Mysterio in the corner, before Mysterio gets a few kicks to the face of Regal and nails a headscissor flip followed by a low dropkick to the face for a two count. Mysterio gets the ten count in the corner and tries to follow up with a running crossbody but Regal catches him, Sharmell distracts the referee and allows Regal to drop Mysterio groin first on the top rope. Regal gets a knee drop to the face of Mysterio before getting an uppercut and then kicking Mysterio’s head into the steel pole.
Regal forces Mysterio’s face into the canvas with his knee. Regal sends Mysterio into the corner but Mysterio jumps up and jumps back and gets a bodyscissors on Regal – but Regal nails a german for a two count! Right around now we cut to the announcer’s for this match (there’s four) arguing, so I can’t quite tell what Regal applies, but Mysterio kicks out of it only to get an elbow to the face by Regal. Regal gets a headlock on Myterio, but Mysterio gets a monkey flip! Regal sends Mysterio outside but Mysterio holds onto the ropes, gets the shoulder to the gut of Regal and gets a seated senton! One, two, no! Dropkicks by Mysterio, leg drop by Mysterio! Booker distracts the referee and allows Mysterio to get a baseball slide to the groin of Regal! Bronco Buster by Mysterio! Split legged moonsault for a two count! .. Mysterio does the Split legged?! Since when? Baseball slide to King Booker, but Regal goes for the double arm suplex – but Mysterio reverses it with an arm drag! 619! Top rope splash for the three count!
Winner: Rey Mysterio
Not exactly tonight’s best match, but certainly not a terrible match by any means. Six out of Ten. Post match Mysterio nails Booker with a 619 using the Steel Pole, and then gets a Seated Senton on Booker. Mysterio celebrates as SmackDown fades out. So tonight’s episode stands at;
Matt Hardy vs Mister Kennedy: 8/10
Jamie Noble vs Paul London: 8/10
Finlay vs Bobby Lashley: 7/10
William Regal vs Rey Mysterio: 6/10
SmackDon 14/07/06: 29/40
I don’t know if it’s just me, chances are it is, but this show could have been totally dreadful. Yes it had it’s low points in the Contract Signing and the Diva Boot Camp, and depending if you’re beginning to care or not, the Khali and Undertaker segment .. but the rest was watchable. The wrestling was a whole step above the usual load we’ve been seeing lately. Saturday Night’s Main Event wasn’t as hyped today as much as it was for the pre-Mania edition, this time SmackDown being allowed to focus more on Great American Bash. A totally acceptable if not two steps above acceptable show. Until next time, ciao y’all!